Rough Seas

An Thoi Island Travel Blog

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The An Thoi (town) lighthouse

Motoring south between anchored fishing boats, we spotted the lighthouse that I had tried to find back in February. Its red and white painted bands towered above green treetops on a hill between us and the main harbor at An Thoi town. A skeletal-framed communications tower shared the same hill and stood much taller. When we cleared the southwest tip of Phu Quoc, I thought we might angle east to the main harbor, staying close to shore, but Nguyen continued seaward toward An Thoi Island - about four or five miles to the south.

 

Winds and seas quickly roughened when we lost the natural protective shield of Phu Quoc island.

Zig-zagging toward An Thoi Island
Nguyen steered a zig-zag pattern toward the distant island to keep white-cap waves from slamming our left side. Soft warm saltwater sprayed over the bow and by mid-crossing he was jockeying the throttle as the boat pitched, rocked, and rolled from side to side. We held tightly to the gunnels. Poor Michaela, seated in the forward-most chair, got drenched more than the rest of us. When I glanced back, the girl was bailing water but Nguyen seemed surprisingly cool and calm though he was no longer grinning. There were no other boats out there and we grew concerned at what we had gotten ourselves into; certainly more adventure than we bargained for.

 

We finally reached the leeward side of An Thoi Island where the sea and wind subsided, and followed its western shore. Green brush and tropical forest covered the uninhabited island.

Reaching An Thoi Island
The only wildlife that we saw was a white long-necked shorebird on gray rocks. It looked like egrets that I had seen in Africa perched on backs of rhinos. The jagged rocky shore made a popular destination for day-trips of scuba and snorkeling from Phu Quoc. We spotted a dive boat that was headed toward the next island further south and wondered what the heck anyone was doing out on the water on a day like this - fools!

 

As we rounded the bottom of An Thoi, strong wind and turbulent seas resumed. We all got drenched again and the girl began bailing. She stopped scooping when the engine quit and helped her father pour gasoline from the plastic jug. I wondered if she wished that she had gone to school that day instead. The three of us were relieved when Nguyen decided to turn back the way we came; staying on the leeward side of the island and not fighting the elements up the east side. Crossing back to Phu Quoc would be challenging enough.

Dr_Seuss says:
If you were any sort of gentleman you would have swapped seats with Michaela
Posted on: Nov 27, 2009
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The An Thoi (town) lighthouse
The An Thoi (town) lighthouse
Zig-zagging toward An Thoi Island
Zig-zagging toward An Thoi Island
Reaching An Thoi Island
Reaching An Thoi Island
Heading to An Thoi Island
Heading to An Thoi Island
Nguyen at the helm, his daughter b…
Nguyen at the helm, his daughter …
An Thoi Island shoreline
An Thoi Island shoreline
Shorebird on An Thoi
Shorebird on An Thoi
Dive boat
Dive boat
Southern tip of the island
Southern tip of the island
An Thoi Island
photo by: rotorhead85